Peter Altmaier

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Not to be confused with Peter Altmeier.
Peter Altmaier
Peter Altmaier1.JPG
Chief of the Chancellery
Federal Minister for Special Affairs
Assumed office
17 December 2013
Chancellor Angela Merkel
Preceded by Ronald Pofalla
Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety
In office
22 May 2012 – 17 December 2013
Chancellor Angela Merkel
Preceded by Norbert Röttgen
Succeeded by Barbara Hendricks
Personal details
Born (1958-06-18) 18 June 1958 (age 57)
Ensdorf
Nationality German
Political party CDU
Spouse(s) Single
Religion Roman Catholicism

Peter Altmaier (born 18 June 1958) is a German politician who has served as the Chief of Staff of the German Chancellery and as Federal Minister for Special Affairs since December 2013. Previously he was Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety from May 2012 to December 2013. Altmaier is widely seen as one of Chancellor Angela Merkel's most trusted advisors[1][2] and respected for his "compromising style."[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Altmaier was born on 18 June 1958 in Ensdorf, Saarland. He is the son of a coalminer and a nurse.[4][5] He studied law at Saarland University.[4]

In addition to his native German, he speaks English fluently.

Early career[edit]

Altmaier began his career as a research assistant for public and international law at Saarland University in 1995 and later at the European Institute of Saarland University. His tenure lasted until 2000.[4] He worked for the European Commission from 1990 to 1994.

Political career[edit]

Altmaier has been a member of the CDU since 1976.

Member of the Bundestag, 1994-present[edit]

Altmaier has been a member of the Bundestag since 1994. When the Bundestag created a committee to examine whether then-Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and others in the governing SPD party inflated economic figures before the 2002 federal elections to hide a growing budget deficit, he was chosen by his parliamentary group to lead the inquiry.[6]

From 2006 to 2011 Altmaier was president of Europa-Union Deutschland, the German section of the Union of European Federalists.

Parliamentary State Secretary, 2005-2009[edit]

Following the 2005 federal elections, Altmaier became Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of the Interior under Wolfgang Schäuble. In this capacity, he publicly admitted in 2009 that Germany followed a request of the government of Saudi Arabia it to grant influential cleric Abdullah Ibn Jibreen police protection in a Berlin hospital where he was undergoing heart treatment; the decision garnered sharp criticsm from the opposition parties, with the Green Party questioning why Germany hosted someone who "has called for the killing of Shiites [and] praised Osama bin Laden."[7]

Chief whip, 2009-2012[edit]

Succeeding Norbert Röttgen as parliamentary secretary (chief whip) of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the Bundestag following the 2009 elections, Altmaier was in charge of negotiating the passage of Eurozone crisis legislation through the parliament. He served as the government’s chief negotiator with the opposition Social Democrats and Greens, as well as with potential rebels from the government benches.[1]

Return to the Federal Government[edit]

Altmaier replaced Norbert Röttgen as Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety on 22 May 2012.[8]

While in office, Altmaier coordinated the government's efforts to exit nuclear power generation by 2022 and rely on more renewable sources such as wind and solar.[9] He also demanded companies to harvest metals including rare earths from recycled electronics as Germany sought to become less dependent on imports from China and other nations.[10] Together with his French counterpart Delphine Batho, he put in motion the establishment of the French-German Office for Renewable Energies (L'Office Franco-allemand pour les energies renouvelables) in 2013.[11]

In 2012, Altmaier led the German delegation to the 2012 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Doha.[12]

In 2013, Altmaier and Economics Minister Philipp Rösler reached agreement on far-reaching regulations for the fracking industry.[13][14]

In the negotiations to form a government following the 2013 federal elections, Altmaier led the CDU/CSU delegation in the energy working group; his co-chair from the SPD was Hannelore Kraft, Minister-President of North Rhine-Westphalia.[15] In Angela Merkel's third Cabinet he serves as the Chief of Staff of the German Chancellery and a Federal Minister for Special Affairs.

Political positions[edit]

Altmaier belongs to the more liberal wing of the CDU.[16]

Responding to a growing unease over Germany's role in bailing out highly indebted European states, Altmaier in 2011 demanded that states that violate the EU's Stability and Growth Pact should be subject to the European Court of Justice.[17] That same year, he advised against Germany pursuing a prompt debt haircut and warned of the consequences. According to Altmaier, the banks must be supported, in Greece and elsewhere, and the European Financial Stability Facility might have to issue guarantees for the holders of Italian and Spanish bonds, because they also fear that they will be asked to pay up.[18]

Other activities (selection)[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Quentin Peel (16 May 2012), Merkel sacks minister after election defeat Financial Times.
  2. ^ Euro Group Delays Meeting: Berlin Grows Impatient over Greece Spiegel Online, February 15, 2012.
  3. ^ Stefan Wagstyl (14 December 2013), Germany’s SPD backs coalition with Merkel’s CDU Financial Times.
  4. ^ a b c "Profile: Peter Altmaier, the new power in Germany's shake-up". Recharge. Retrieved 11 September 2012. 
  5. ^ Quentin Peel and Gerrit Wiesmann (12 September 2011), Merkel chief whip set on EU reform Financial Times.
  6. ^ Desmond Butler (22 December 2002), Panel to Decide If Schröder Lied On Economy New York Times.
  7. ^ Souad Mekhennet (June 17, 2009), Saudi Cleric With Militant Views Paid Medical Visit to Germany New York Times.
  8. ^ "Merkel Fires Environment Minister Roettgen". Der Spiegel. 16 May 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  9. ^ Stefan Nicola (27 September 2013), Merkel Ally Altmaier Wants Germany to Boost Climate Protection Bloomberg.
  10. ^ Stefan Nicola (24 April 2013), Germany’s Altmaier Wants Rare-Earths Recycling to Reduce Imports Bloomberg.
  11. ^ Geert De Clercq, Julien Ponthus, Andreas Rinke and Christoph Steitz (January 14, 2014), Franco-German energy firm seen focused on renewables: sources Reuters.
  12. ^ Failed CO2 Targets: Going Through the Motions in Doha Der Spiegel, November 26, 2012.
  13. ^ Gas Guidelines: Berlin Agrees on Fracking Regulations Spiegel Online, February 26, 2013.
  14. ^ Lazar Backovic, Michael Kröger and Annett Meiritz (February 14, 2013), Un-Natural Gas: Fracking Set to Shake Up German Campaign Spiegel Online.
  15. ^ Annika Breidthardt and Gernot Heller (October 26, 2013), Germany may see higher tax revenues, could play role in talks Reuters.
  16. ^ Kristen Allen (May 18, 2012), The World from Berlin: 'The Chancellor Doesn't Have Many Allies Left' Spiegel Online, February 26, 2013.
  17. ^ Andreas Rinke (September 6, 2011), http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/06/eu-germany-court-idUSL5E7K64IS20110906 Germans seek court solution to enforce deficit rules Reuters.
  18. ^ Peter Müller, Christoph Pauly, Christoph Schult, Anne Seith and Dimitri Soibel (October 17, 2011), Will Merkel Take The Reins? Europe Deeply Divided Ahead of Make-or-Break Summit Der Spiegel.

External links[edit]